Open mike 24/04/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 24th, 2023 - 50 comments
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50 comments on “Open mike 24/04/2023 ”

  1. pat 1

    Did the Australian political class suddenly develop a smidgen of conscience, ……

    How, then, to explain Albanese’s promised relaxation of the rules controlling New Zealand immigration? After all, Howard’s decisive victory in 2001 had convinced the Labor Party that taking anything other than a hard line on immigration policy was electoral suicide. Neither Kevin Rudd, nor Julia Gillard, both Labor prime-ministers, were willing to budge on the state of limbo into which the highly-restrictive 2001 SVCs had cast nearly half-a-million Kiwi ex-pats. What brought on Albanese’s Damascene conversion?

    Could it be that Australia is simply hungry for New Zealand’s best and brightest? As in the rest of the West, shortages of highly-skilled labour are becoming critical in Australia. It is entirely possible that the harsh conditions imposed back in 2001 are making it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain the talented Kiwis they need?

    Poaching our best and brightest may not, however, be the worst of it. New Zealand’s refusal to come to terms with the new Indo-Pacific geo-strategic environment is bothering people in Washington, London and Canberra. It’s even beginning to bother some people in Wellington

    Or perhaps there is an another explanation as yet unexplored?

    [Changed formatting of long piece (3 paragraphs) of text to blockquote for clarity – Incognito]

    • Sanctuary 1.1

      If you seek a conspiracy theory I direct you to the Daily Blog. If you crave a bit of colonial cringe and settler class doom, I suggest Kiwiblog.

      A more parsimonious view is that simply a new Australian government has decided that there is no discernable political cost (and some potential political advantage) in doing the right thing. And since everyone likes to do the right thing – especially when the starts align to make it a win-win for everyone – the right thing has been done.

      • arkie 1.1.1

        Much like our own Labour government, the Australian Labor government has made a choice regarding 'doing the right thing' and has ignored its own experts in this regard (WEAG report anyone?):

        The Albanese government will not substantially lift jobseeker payments despite its own poverty experts calling for an increase to the “seriously inadequate” unemployment support.

        On Tuesday the treasurer, Jim Chalmers, and social services minister, Amanda Rishworth, released the report of the interim economic inclusion committee, which found that the dire level of jobseeker is acting as a barrier to entering the workforce as jobseekers don’t have enough to meet the “essentials of life”.

        The pair promised some measures to address disadvantage in the May budget, including energy rebates, but Guardian Australia understands the government will not implement the central recommendation to substantially increase jobseeker.

        One of the benefits of this new path to citizenship for NZers in Australia is they too will have access to the 'seriously inadequate' jobeseeker payment now.

      • pat 1.1.2

        You suggestions have been noted….and may I suggest you invest in a thesaurus.

      • Shanreagh 1.1.3

        A more parsimonious view is that simply a new Australian government has decided that there is no discernable political cost (and some potential political advantage) in doing the right thing. And since everyone likes to do the right thing – especially when the starts align to make it a win-win for everyone – the right thing has been done.

        So then reinforcing Pat's query about whether 'the Australian political class suddenly develop a smidgen of conscience',

        I cannot see any sort of 'conspiracy' in what Pat said and note that you have actually repeated her views on the conscience aspect with words such as 'right thing' and 'win-win' .

        Conscience 'a person's moral sense of right and wrong, viewed as acting as a guide to one's behaviour.'

      • SPC 1.1.4

        The Liberal Party knows there is a generation of Kiwis that they have oppressed – an exploited class of workers not getting welfare (and they expel them when they commit crime) who could not vote. How very USA (exploiting illegals unable to vote and other workers having limited access to the vote because they hold elections on a Tuesday) of them.

        Knees and elbows is onto an electoral race winner. As they say in the USA, the Indian Red Sky has come – it’s time for utu at the polling booth.

    • Mike the Lefty 1.2

      There is no doubt that Australia's change-of-heart isn't totally altruistic but a change of policy has been on the cards since Albanese won the general election. Of course National assumes that NZ will be the worse off but their relentless negativity would demand that position.

      • pat 1.2.1

        Except it is far more than National that expect NZ to be worse off….but that should not be the basis of the decision in any case even though it is the likely outcome given the comparative strengths of the two economies…which only adds credibility to the speculation that the change of heart had little to do with natural justice.

        As some are wont to ask…cui bono?

        • SPC

          Of course it did. Those oppressed by the former policy will be exacting natural justice when they vote for Labour and against the Liberal Party and its white Australia citizenship policy

          And it speaks to his intent to honour the UN Rights of the Indigenous People, something Kiwis in Oz are likely to support.

    • SPC 1.3

      That article was risibly poor.

      Oz had no trouble attracting people to higher paid jobs as it was. And our best and brightest already had a path to citizenship in Oz if they wanted it – but they were not the ones who needed support between jobs.

      And as yet there is no evidence of any connection to foreign and defence policy conditions.

      PS Dan Tehan, one of the worst of their Liberal Party (supported Abbott) and thus their Immigration Spokesperson, says it means people who have been paying taxes for years will finally be able to get welfare support and he is not happy. The sort of person, who supports lower wage workers not getting welfare and not being able to vote, is an absolute bastard – but is amongst like in that misogynist racist caucus.

      He is ex Foreign Affairs and Trade bureaucracy (they are well rid of him), and he sees no sign of any "grand deal to bring Enzed to some Aukus order".

  2. Ad 2

    Outside of a minimum wage hike, there are very few policy changes that can positively affect 350,000 New Zealanders overnight.

    Full credit to the Hipkins government, and the Albanese government, plus all the advocates at the Oz-Kiwi Association, and everyone from within MFAT, DIA, and our Canberra Consular staff who got this citizenship pathway policy over the line…

    … in time for ANZAC Day tomorrow morning.

  3. Molly 3

    Jan Rivers has a good article published in the NZ Herald today, updating the conversation around the Ministry of Health and the changes on their website regarding puberty blockers:

    "Having last year removed advice that puberty blockers are a safe and reversible medicine, the Ministry of Health has said it will publish an evidence brief on the medicine in May."

    It has been paywalled, but there is an archive copy here:

    "The NZ Media Council recognises there is a legitimate debate but there has been little media coverage of the issue here.

    Other sources show why the “safe and reversible” claims have had to go.

    The Pharmac data sheet for the PB Goserelin says it must not be used in children. FDA advisory notifications advise of serious health risks."

    Link to Pharmac sheet for those interested:

    Advice re children is under – WHEN YOU MUST NOT USE IT for both dosages.

    • Belladonna 3.1

      Snap, Molly. Posted at the same time.

      However, your comment is much better, so have deleted mine!

    • Anker 3.2

      A fantastic piece of work from Jan Rivers, who painstanly went through the data.

      This really puts the onus on Health NZ to do an urgent and thorough review into their treatment protocal for gender dysphoric youths.

      I know a number of the professional psychological associations push gender affirming care and silence any dissent of their members on this

      It is also a major break through for people concerned about the medicalisation of children. We need to remember that these were the drugs Alan Turing was put on as alternative to going to jail for homosexuality.

      • Shanreagh 3.2.1

        I read an ironic comment yesterday, not able to find now, saying that the whole question of consent for children to transition seems a little askew in that they can consent to gender affirming chemicals and surgical mutilation before they are legally able to consent to sexual activity.

        There is something really 'screwy' when it is looked at in this way.

      • Shanreagh 3.2.2

        Yes excellent article/research by Jan Rivers.

  4. Ad 5

    Big shoutout to the legal and advocacy and comms teams at Forest & Bird for defeating the proposed coal mine at Te Kuha near Westport. What an amazing little legal team they have.

    This was going to be a 150-hectare mine site bang in the middle of habitat for great spotted kiwi, South Island fernbird, geckos, and 17 plant species including native eyebright.

    This case is a significant win for Forest & Bird as it marks its centennial.

    Anyone wonders what your F&B subs go to, in part it's to win this kind of fight.

    At some point Westport's local council will realise that you can make a whole lot more out of tourism local and foreign than you can exporting coal.

    • Bearded Git 5.1

      Great pic.

      Why on earth does anybody think opening a coal mine is a good idea with the Climate Change issues now extant? It's as daft as opening a new international airport at Tarras.

      • Mike the Lefty 5.1.1

        The political right always think it is a good idea and their strongest argument is that why should we import coal when we have resources just ready for the taking? Of course that rather overlooks that it takes at least hundreds of millions of dollars to develop it in a world where coal may well be redundant in a decade or two and then the fabulous new mine will be closed – leaving ugly scars and destroyed ecosystems.

        But hey! as long as you are making money now – who cares about the future? No doubt National and ACT will whinge about this decision, castigate the government for "abandoning the people of the West Coast" and show their lip service to reducing carbon emissions.

    • weka 5.2


  5. Incognito 6

    When you connect a whole lot of dots you sometimes get one big amorphous blob and sometimes you get a picture – it does depend on perspective.

    Some people prefer the blob to the picture – it is subjective.

    Debate aims to discuss the finer and coarse points and find agreement on what’s being observed rather than on the level of like/dislike.

    David Farrier does connect dots for a living and you can read up on one of his latest results here:

    The comment section [230 comments at present] is a little disappointing, as it has too much of an echo chamber vibe. Still, it is nice to see that some people can still engage online without blowing a fuse and going all-dark upstairs.

    Edit: Farrier’s piece can also be found in the TS Feeds [2 days ago]

    • Shanreagh 6.1

      Slick nonsense framing.

      I do not hold any sort of candle for VFF or their new radio station. Go for it. They have views. But several long bows have been drawn conflating VFF, their radio station, womens issues, the visit of KJM, left/ right framing. In fact for a balanced read on the issues I would class this as on a par with the regrettable

      Russell Hoban article

      In fact with its new but underdeveloped theological, or perhaps spritual is a better word, slant, we were with Hoban, at least getting a new take in the NZ MSM..

      These Webworm articles/comments follow the old paths of missing the point, not examining the political sides adequately, not treating the issues in a balanced way. I think if commentators started off with the aim of treating the issues fairly, which requires some research, and then putting their own points of view the articles would be more thoughtful and thought-provoking.

      Anti vaxxers may not be anti trans they may be pro women's issues. Anti vaxxers actually may not be 'hive mind' on this issue or any other issues since their views on the vaccines, mandates, govt over reach, aligned.

      And trying to connect an orange dot to a blue square is not usually a worthy framing unless it is used as part of strategic planning or to drive imagination in art work – mind mapping.

      As a sometime $$$ supporter of David Farrier and moved by his work on Mr Organ, I have to say his/columnists grip on the Women's issue side of this has been disappointing.

      One of the most balanced male comentators I have found in the UK is this person

      Dennis Noel Kavanagh – this links to his twitter page

      This links to a series of tweets about the Oxford University LGBTQ+ Society and the usual witch/'whipping boy' condemnation of Kathleen Stock before she speaks on campus.

      Returning to the articles I note they have not read enough to know that the concern has started out from the right in the US and the left in the UK. To me this says more than anything that trying to put a left/ right framing on it is a little naive. Many women see it as an apolitical issue going to the heart of their experiences of mysogyny and sexism/patriarchy and will look at voting for the political party that best responds to their concern on this, as well as other concerns like climate change.

      Comments with words like 'cis' make my eyes glaze over with 'capture, capture, capture, ding ding ding'

      And with the greatest respect to the Women's Refuge in NZ

      In New Zealand, Women’s Refuge chief executive Ang Jury says trans people have been using its facilities for years without issue.

      This is a concern as the presence of any men in a women's space should be enough to make most people pause. But there is another point that would probably affect more women, bearing in mind that some women are not live in but do participate in specialised counselling sessions for women who have experienced sexual violence.

      A concerning point in Canada and UK, has been that women suffering from some of the worst trauma a woman can experience, have been required to attend counselling sessions taken by transwomen ie men. Some are not given the choice to have male or female counselling, so opt for no counselling.

      Pl note I have followed to the letter the instructions i was given re linking to tweets. This is a multi tweet from Kavanagh and I am wondering if it works in this situation.

      • Visubversa 6.1.1

        Refuges and rape crisis centres have been presented with the choice between admitting the men who are determined to shoehorn themselves into any and every women's' space and service, or losing their public funding. See the Sussex service above and the Vancouver women's centre as examples.

        And Russel Hoban should recognise a cult when he sees one. The mantra of "Trans Women are Women" is nothing more than an expression of gnostic faith.

      • Francesca 6.1.2

        I wouldn't mind betting that the transpeople who have been using womens refuges in the past, pass pretty well.It's self ID that makes the difference.Meaning any man can call himself a woman and have access to womens spaces .Check out how well burly, unreconstructed ,penis having men who may or may not believe they are women are received.And if

        All this nonsense about anti vaxxers also being anti trans is a disingenuous attempt at shutting down legitimate debate.

        Research has shown that sexual and gender minorities, and especially people of color, are more vulnerable to becoming infected with the coronavirus and also more likely to have underlying conditions that could make them severely ill if they were to contract Covid-19. But many of the very people who are most at risk within these communities are also hesitant to take the vaccine, according to a recent study and interviews with health care workers as well as people of color who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer.

        Instead of feverishly searching the internet to find articles reinforcing our own beliefs, we could be establishing what we actually do agree on

        Here's a start

        As human beings , transpeople deserve the exact same human rights as everyone else

        Believing that you are really of the opposite sex is a genuinely held belief for many people

        Unfortunately, no matter how ardent the belief, how skilled the surgeon, how plentiful the cross hormones, it is not possible to change sex, only to mimic

        there is such a thing as gender dysphoria

        What can we add ?

      • RedLogix 6.1.3

        Slick nonsense framing.

        I get the sense that if this author didn't have 'anti-vaxxers' as a conveniently proximate whipping boy, it would have been white supremacists, nazis or maybe medieval witch burners.

    • weka 6.2

      Hayden Donnell seems a bit obsessed about genitals himself tbh. I scrolled through all the rhetoric to find something concrete and came to this,

      None of their arguments hold water. Multiple studies have shown low levels of regret associated with transition.

      that link goes to a tweet, with a screenshot that is meant to support the assertion that levels of regret associated with transition are rare. When I go to the referenced article, I see that the screenshot shows half the relevant information. The other half says this,

      The authors said the regret rate for patients in the last decade reviewed, from 2001 to 2010, may have increased over time. “The last period is still undecided since the median time lag until applying for a reversal was 8 years,” according to the study.

      Far fewer adolescents received gender-affirming medical care prior to 2010. Also, the assessment phase for patients in the study was much longer than what Reuters found most youth gender clinics in the U.S. offer today. The gender-care specialists in Sweden did approximately one year of evaluation before recommending any treatment, according to the study.

      here's the article being cherry picked.

      I already knew that the time period as a limitation (the dates were in the screenshot), because I've been following the debate for a long time. The major rise in transition and thus detransition is since 2010. Either Donnell knows this and is intentionally misrepresenting, or he doesn't know (at a guess his bias stops him from reading he relevant analyses) and is speaking from relative ignorance.

      Further, that section of the reuters piece starts with this,

      No large-scale, long-term studies have tracked the incidence of detransition and regret among patients who received gender-affirming treatment as minors. Studies that are available yield a wide range of results for various definitions of detransition, regret or continuation of care. Due to their limitations, the studies lack definitive answers.

      This is the article that the tweet uses that Donnell is relying on to support his assertions that "None of their arguments hold water. Multiple studies have shown low levels of regret associated with transition"


      I haven't read the whole reuters piece, so someone else can pull apart my argument, but I'm so sick of the inherent and unacknowledged bias from pieces like the webworm one. They start from an ideological position, make assertions based on that, and then find bits and pieces to support their narrative.

      That's tedious, but what really fucks me off is that it majorly works against detrans people, who have been misled into lifelong iatrogenic illness and disability and who have no specialist care because so many people are in denial that there is a need. If the genderists were being honest and open, there would be as much a push for detrans health care as there is for transition and trans health care. But of course they can't do that because it breaks the mirror of their ideology.

      I asked on twitter a while back why there is so much silence around detrans stories. Someone tweeted this article to me. It's a piece of misleading public health information that purports to be there to help detrans people but takes an ideological position against detransitioning.

      • Anker 6.2.1

        These allys don't really care about tran people. They throw de transitioners under the bus using denial, minimisation and ostricisattion.

  6. Anker 7

    "Trans women are women" is nothing more than gas lighting

    • Ed 8.1

      The events of the past 2 months have made me decide not to vote for the Greens. This story is just further confirmation of how this party has declined.

      It looks like a TOP party vote for me.

      Thanks to Shanreagh and others for informing me on this issue.

      • Leighton 8.1.1

        Me too Ed. It will be interesting to see how the Greens perform amongst people aged 30+ this year compared with past elections. A lot of long term Green voters seem to be walking away at the moment. The question will be whether they can capture enough new voters to replace them.

        • pat

          "The question will be whether they can capture enough new voters to replace them."

          Indeed….it may be a possibility but I suspect a rebranding would be required to reap such a benefit…one that abandons the environment entirely.

    • Belladonna 8.2

      Leaks to media continuing to come from both 'sides' of the GP over Kerekere.

    • Francesca 8.3

      Elizabeth Kerekere will scupper the Green Party.She really doesn’t have what it takes to bring a range of people onside.
      She may well be on 4 at the moment, from Friday on, expect her position to slip down the list

    • pat 8.4

      Aside from her SM gaff, what action/profile could Kerekere claim to warrant a high list ranking?….it appears a case of someone who greatly over estimates their own ability.

      • weka 8.4.1

        her high list ranking is a mystery to me. I wonder if it's to do with the number Māori MPs that have to be in the top five or something.

        • Anker

          Weka can you please check you messages

        • weka

          assuming the people going to the media are genuine, then it looks like an attempt to get publicity about her behaviour so that members will drop her down the list.

    • That_guy 8.5

      A cult ate my party
      Distressing to see
      The cult leader's name?
      Dr Kerekere.

      A cult ate my party
      It started so well
      We said to the gay folks
      "You're NOT going to hell!"

      "To hell with this nonsense!"
      "This vile travesty!"
      "We're going to get rid"
      "of all prayer therapy!"

      "What's wrong with the gay kids?"
      "Nothing at all."
      But then, 'cross the ocean
      Came a fateful, bad call.

      A shiny new theory
      of identity
      imported wholesale
      from the land of the Free.

      A theory of women
      and LGBT
      it's not about bodies
      Or reality

      Woman, you see
      Is not flesh and bone
      It's just an idea!
      A skill you can hone!

      A costume! A play!
      A set of high heels!
      Not real female bodies..
      Just male thoughts and feels!

      Of course, with this theory
      Victims abounded
      Women were shut up
      Dissidents hounded

      But the saddest thing, surely
      for the kids LGB:
      We stopped telling them
      that they're perfect and free.

      Instead we say "fix them!"
      "Do surgery!"
      "Pass me the hormones!"
      "Stop puberty!"

      Disagree? You're a fascist.
      Questions? You troll!
      Critical thinking
      Is not how we roll.

      So while we all talk
      of the male right to be
      In any place where
      they just ought not to be

      our planet is burning
      our oceans are acid
      our kids losing hope
      because we're so placid.

      A cult ate my party
      Don't want to be mean
      But cults are not nice
      It's not Rainbow, not Green

  7. weka 9

    it's not irreverent, it's gross. Very few people can make jokes about child sexual abuse work. Given the number of transitioning teen girls who've been sexually abused, it's way off.

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